Top Ten Tuesday

10 Books I Love That Were Written Over 10 Years Ago

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

 I was browsing Instagram the other day and one of the accounts I follow mentioned that one of my favorite books were celebrating their 10-year anniversary. It is hard to believe that some amazing books, that I still bring up in conversations, are already 10 years old. Some books I discovered when they first came out and other books, I read recently.

Regardless of when I read the book, I still highly recommend each and every one on this list. I would, also, love to know of your favorites that were written over 10 years ago! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: 10 Books I Love That Were Written Over 10 Years Ago:


The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (released in 2006): I got the opportunity to read this for class and it quickly became a favorite with its unique perspective.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (released in 2007): Where it all began. The Shadowhunter world is so intricate now with multiple spin-offs and prequels. However, I will always have a special place in my heart for the first Clare and Shadowhunter book I ever read.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray (released in 2009): Not only is this a great book, but the acknowledgements are also incredibly funny. Bray is such a great writer and while I haven't finished her Diviners series, I plan on picking up everything she writes and Going Bovine was the book in which I decided that Bray was most definitely an auto-buy author for me.


Falling Under by Gwen Hayes (released in 2011): This one did not get enough love. I adored every minute of it. Falling Under follows Theia as she realizes where she knows the new boy at school from. From her dreams!

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (released in 2012): I usually do not pick up thrillers or mysteries, but I loved Barry Lyga's contemporaries in the past and gave this one a try. It follows Jasper, a son of a serial killer, as he helps the police get to the bottom of the case that mimics his own father's. The book is so riveting, with on the edge of your seat action. I loved the entire series!

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (released in 2011): I was going to put Vampire Academy on the list, but since I just started this series last year, I thought I would include this one instead. The Bloodlines series is a spin-off series of the Vampire Academy books, following Adrian and Sydney.


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (released in 2011): It has always been difficult summarizing what this book is about without giving main plot points away. This book is probably best if you go in without knowing the plot. It is absolutely amazing and will surely keep you guessing the whole way through.

Hourglass by Myra McEntire (released in 2011): This is another book that didn't give as much love. It follows Emerson, looking for a cure to help her stop seeing apparitions. It's a gorgeous time traveling series that I've returned to again and again!

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (released in 2010): I am sad that I purchased all the books before this beautiful 10-year anniversary edition came out. I just read this series and am making my way through the follow-up series currently. Kagawa's fey world is amazing! I just can't believe it took me this long to finally pick them up.


Nevermore by Kelly Creagh (released in 2010): I loved this whole series of books that take Edgar Allen Poe's work and flips it upside down. 

What are some of your favorites that were written over 10 years ago?

Tackling my TBR

Tackling My TBR: August 2022

Friday, August 05, 2022

Tackling My TBR is a monthly post, where I share my reading plans for the upcoming month. The concept of a TBR Jar is not a new one. I’ve seen it used in various ways throughout the bookish community. My jar is a little different. The goal is to read the older books on my to-read pile. Thus, instead of putting individual book titles on a small sheet of paper to place in the jar, I wrote a month and a year on each. Each month, I intend to pull three sheets of paper from my jar which will dictate which three books I will read. The dates on the paper correspond with the date I added those books to my Goodreads account. Some months will have over 20 books to choose from, when others may have only one. From Goodreads, I’ll choose the three books from the three different monthly hauls. And if I cannot complete the book within the month, it will be unhauled (with the exception of one pass each month).


In July, I attempted to read books from my December 2013, August 2011, and May 2020 book hauls. And I am sad to report that I didn't finish a single one. I ended up unhauling A Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay since historical really isn't a genre I pick up anymore. While I was so excited to dive into The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith, I just ran out of time and hope to pick it up later this year. However, I plan to read Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev this month, since I didn't get to it last month.

For this month, I picked the March 2016, June 2020, and December 2017 book hauls out of the jar. From there, I chose the following books to read:


The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan: I am super excited to read this one and complete the Kane Chronicles. I adore Egyptian mythology so I am loving this series. 

Lovely War by Julie Berry: I know I just mentioned that the historical genre really isn't something I gravitate towards anymore. While that is true, Lovely War is told through the perspective of Aphrodite and I love unique perspectives. It was what made me fall in love with the Book Thief, as that book is told through the eyes of Death.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo: I've had this on my shelf for a while. It's a short collection of fairytales of Bardugo's Grisha world. There's beautiful illustrations and even the cover is gorgeous. I can't wait to read this one!

Orilium Readathon

The Orilium Readathon is hosted by booktuber: G at Book Roast. This readathon takes place during the entire month of August. Here is the announcement video. It’s a little complicated as participants are tasked with building their own character and then choosing a calling or career path for their character. This round of the readathon, our characters are off to magical school where we must take classes to excel in our chosen calling. The number of prompts or challenges vary depending on certain callings and on what grade you strive for in each class. My calling is to become a Moon Warden. Thus, there are 6 challenges. Here’s the books (and their challenges) I hope to get to:


Lore Olympus, volume 2 by Rachel Smythe (challenge: letter L in the title): Since I am posting this TBR a bit late, I have acutally already completed this one and I am in love. This was a great graphic novel. Now, I have to wait until the third volume comes out.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (challenge: book with archers or rangers): It is finally time to begin this series. Has everyone already this, but me? While I am entirely guessing, I am hoping that this book contains a few archers so it can fulfill this prompt.

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonoli Dev (challenge: start a book with a drink): While I could have doubled up with another prompt, I have decided to leave this one as its own prompt and choose a whole new book for it. I meant to read this last month, but I am glad that I can fit it in August. With Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau and The Charmed List by Julie Abe, I am loving all these foodie romances. This one also reimagines Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen so I know it will easily become a favorite!


A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn (challenge: use color wheel and a pick a book of the same color - indigo): I have been wanting to pick this up for a while and this is the perfect time. Whenever I read the synopsis, I think of Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. They both are historical mysteries with a hint of romance. It is going to be so good!

Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Evelyn Skye, and Sandhya Menon (challenge: single object as focus on the cover): This book releases at the end of August and I can't wait to read this book. I am so happy that it fit into the readathon! This one follows a group of friends who decide to use magic to have the romance of their dreams. I hear there are strong autumn vibes in this, which makes me even more excited to pick it up!

Lord of the Flies by William Golding (challenge: oldest book on my TBR): This prompt can be interpreted in many different ways. I chose to go with the oldest age-wise book on my TBR, rather than the oldest-to-me book on my TBR, if that makes sense. I have been meaning to pick up Lord of the Flies for the past few months, since I am interested in reading it and I never had the pleasure of reading it while in school.

What are you planning on reading this month?

book review

A Magical Road Trip | The Charmed List by Julie Abe

Friday, July 08, 2022

 The Charmed List by Julie Abe


Publisher:
Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 7/5/22
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley/ from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (thank you, Wednesday Books!)
After spending most of high school as the quiet girl, Ellie Kobata is ready to take some risks and have a life-changing summer, starting with her Anti-Wallflower List—thirteen items she’s going to check off one by one. She’s looking forward to riding rollercoasters, making her art Instagram public (maybe), and going on an epic road-trip with her best friend Lia. But when number four on Ellie’s list goes horribly wrong—revenge on Jack Yasuda—she’s certain her summer has gone from charmed to cursed. Instead of a road trip with Lia, Ellie finds herself stuck in a car with Jack driving to a magical convention. But as Ellie and Jack travel down the coast of California, number thirteen on her list—fall in love—may be happening without her realizing it. In The Charmed List, Julie Abe sweeps readers away to a secret magical world, complete with cupcakes and tea with added sparks of joy, and an enchanted cottage where you can dance under the stars.
Jack and Ellie used to be best friends. However, after Jack’s mother passed away, he started ignoring Ellie, quickly becoming a stranger in her eyes. When a harmless prank goes horribly wrong, Jack and Ellie are forced on a road trip together. With a sprinkle of magic at every turn, The Charmed List will surely have readers swooning over the duo as they journey together.
  • I didn’t quite expect the magical elements of the plot. Of course, this is a side effect of skimming the synopsis and picking up the book wholly based on vibes. While unexpected, I found I enjoyed the whimsical elements of the world. Magical realism isn't my thing so I was nervous at first that that was what The Charmed List was going to introduce. Instead, the magic reminds me of all the whimsy of the classic Sabrina the Teenage Witch. There's even an adorable dog (that, unfortunately, doesn't talk) named Mochi too!
  • The premise of a bucket list of goals to accomplish by a certain date, like the end of summer, is not a new idea. However, while the element can be found elsewhere like in Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney or Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson, Julie Abe puts her own spin on it by throwing magic and a road trip into the mix. Regardless of seeing the list element in other books, I must note that I adore it. If I hear about a book that has a physical list of goals the protagonist is completing, count me in. It must be the organization lover in me.
  • When readers think of those classic YA characters, the protagonists usually love the classics—books like Jane Austen to music like ACDC. It is absolutely refreshing to find a YA protagonist like Ellie in The Charmed List actually like books from this era. The book mentioned Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (which is a fantastic book) and so many more.
  • The Charmed List has a whole lot of heart at its core. It's heartwarming and enchanting, wrapping readers in a comfortable blanket. 
  • Ellie and Jack embark on a road trip filled with mini errands and with each stop, they get closer together. The structure of the book is absolutely lovely and endearing. It's a book about friendship and magic.
  • There are multiple scenes in the book where Ellie sketches her surroundings. Abe truly captures the perspective of an artist, describing the creative process in detail. It's both incredibly calming and inspirational. Plus, readers are able to receive a deeper understanding of Ellie through her work.
  • Road trip books are so much fun because they lead the way to so many opportunities. Authors are able to add more elements with a variety of different settings. My favorite sequence must have been the escape room challenge which sounded like so much fun. However, every time Ellie and Jack came across a magical village, I swooned. If I could live in the world Abe has created, I most definitely would.
The Charmed List by Julie Abe is the perfect beach read, complete with all the feels, romance that will have you swooning, and magic that feels both nostalgic and enchanting. Julie Abe whisks readers away on a magical road trip. You seriously do not want to miss this one. 

Tackling my TBR

Tackling My TBR: July 2022

Friday, July 01, 2022

Tackling My TBR is a monthly post, where I share my reading plans for the upcoming month. The concept of a TBR Jar is not a new one. I’ve seen it used in various ways throughout the bookish community. My jar is a little different. The goal is to read the older books on my to-read pile. Thus, instead of putting individual book titles on a small sheet of paper to place in the jar, I wrote a month and a year on each. Each month, I intend to pull three sheets of paper from my jar which will dictate which three books I will read. The dates on the paper correspond with the date I added those books to my Goodreads account. Some months will have over 20 books to choose from, when others may have only one. From Goodreads, I’ll choose the three books from the three different monthly hauls. And if I cannot complete the book within the month, it will be unhauled (with the exception of one pass each month).


In June, I attempted to read books from the April 2012, March 2013, and October 2014 book hauls. I tried to pick up these books, but, unfortunately, I didn't get to finish any of them. Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton mixes comic strips and prose, and the concept sounds really cool. Yet, I was not excited to pick it up, and I was starting to think this book may not be for me. Therefore, I unhauled Blaze. Also, I was able to tackle 100 pages of All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. However, I DNF-ed it and ultimately, unhauled that one too. That left Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday which is a retelling of Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe. I wasn't able to get to that one in June, but hopefully I'll be able to pick it up soon.

From the jar, I picked from the December 2013, August 2011, and May 2020 book hauls. From there, I chose the following books to read:


A Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay: I don't remember what this is about. I even forgot that I had it on my shelves. This month is a great month to read it!

The Forbidden Game by L. J. Smith: I am kind of daunted by the size of this one, totaling around 750 pages. That is probably the reason I haven't picked it up until now. However, I heard that a production company are in talks about adapting this for TV so there's even more reason to finally pick up this one. L.J. Smith is the author of the Vampire Diaries series, so I am excited to see what is in store in this book.

Pride and Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev: I have been enjoying food-related romances. I can't wait to read one that not only involves food and a romance, but retells Pride and Prejudice. It's going to be amazing!

One of my goals of 2022 is to finish more series. So, in addition to my TBR jar, I created a smaller jar with all the book series I want to finish this year. I plan on picking one series out each month and by the end of the year, I should have finished 12 series. In June, I picked out the conclusion to the Vampirates series, Immortal War by Justin Somper and devoured it. For this month, I picked out the conclusion of Stalking Jack the Ripper series.


Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco: I am going to be so sad to finish this series. I recently read the third book, Escaping from Houdini, and I was instantly reminded on how much I adore all of the characters and how Maniscalco weaves the mystery for the gang to solve. I'm excited to see what case is next for Audrey Rose and Thomas!

Summerween Readathon

Summerween Readathon is hosted by Olivia at Olivia Reads a Latte and Gabby at Gabby Reads. This readathon takes place during July 15th to the 21st. Here is the announcement video. Here are the prompts for the readathon and the books I am hoping to get to:


Read a book in the dark/at night - Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall: I can't wait to get spooked! I tend to read my horror books during the day, because I will be too scared to go to sleep if I read scary books at night. However, this one will be fun!

Read a book with Halloween colors on the cover - Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson: I read the first book, A Good Girl's Guide to Murder last month and it was so good. I can't wait to see what other mysteries Pip will be tackling next.


Read a book with "haunt" in the title - Go Hunt Me by Kelly deVos: This prompt was difficult, because I don't own any books that I haven't read with the word "haunt" in the title. So I went with a book on my TBR that recently released with the word "hunt." This one follows a cast of characters filming a horror short in a Romanian castle. What could go wrong?

Read a slasher - Chosen by Kiersten White: I don't think I read a lot of slashers so attempting to complete this prompt was also challenging. However, when I think of slasher, I sometimes think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer so I decided to pick White's retelling of Buffy. 

Make or bake a spooky, fall themed treat - Salted Caramel Latte

What are you planning on reading this month?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Books on My Summer TBR (2022)

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

It's finally summer, which means iced coffee, watermelon, reading outside, and tons of fun at the pool. While summer means many amazing things, it is also the time to read the cutest contemporaries and to stay cool with some fantasy and horror books. I can't wait to read all the books. What does summer mean to you?


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's topic is: Top 10 Books On My Summer TBR:

Maybe This Time by Kasie West
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn


Direwood by Catherine Yu
Forging Silver into Stars by Brigid Kemmerer
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo


The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan 
The Roommate by Rosie Danan
A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy


Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

What are you reading this summer?